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Transformation Project

We are working on plans to transform the Museum to tell the fascinating 250yr story of innovation and engineering in the town of Leiston, and the impact of the Garrett Works across Britain and the world. This important story will be told through brand new displays and improved visitor route, our inspiring collections, and most importantly the voices and memories of those who worked here. The project aims to create a museum as a beacon for industrial heritage in rural Suffolk, and bring forward the voices of those who worked in the factory right up to it’s closure and beyond.


In late 2016 we were pleases to announce that HLF initial funding of £160,000 had been secured for the Long Shop Museum Transformation Project. This has enabled the museum team to start work on the development phase of the project, creating detailed plans for major restoration to the important buildings (including the Grade II listed Long Shop) and improvements to the displays and interpretation of the museums collections.

Since then we have:

  • Appointed additional staff to support the development work during this first phase.
  • Appointed designers, Hayley Sharpe Designs, and architects, Nicholas Jacob Architects, to develop the new designs and vital building works programme.
  • Appointed consultants to support the project team to carry out vital community consultation and help to develop an Activity Plan. This document will specify a range of activities and services which alongside the transformed museum will help tell the story of the Works and encourage more, and a wider range of, people to get involved.
  • Held a Garrett Gathering on 6th September 2017 for past Garrett Workers or family members to tell us their link to the sit. This is the first step in our Oral History Project to collect memories and stories to be incorporated and lead the new museum displays.

An initial concept design has been created by Hayley Sharpe Designs incorporating consultation from a range of audiences and local groups. These are based around a number of themes covering the development of the Garrett Engineering Works and it’s importance in the town and world wide, life for the workers, and the influential Garrett Family. You can have a look at the concept designs here: CONCEPT DESIGNS HSD 2017

We would very much appreciate if you would let us know your views on our designs so far. Please do so by emailing

Would you like to get involved?

We are always looking for more volunteers, especially in this exciting time! There are lots of opportunities to get involved with the project team such as research, collections display, marketing, learning, events, fundraising, and administration. If you are interested or would simply like to find out more please have a chat with us on